It is Father’s Day on Sunday. And while the traditional way to spend Father’s Day is to think about your own father, and all the sacrifices he made to raise you, let’s do things a bit differently this year. Let’s all imagine that we have better, more famous dads.
No, we should. Sony Pictures has just suggested we do exactly that, and released a study revealing that almost one in 10 of us wish that Tom Hanks would play our dad in a film. And that makes sense, more or less, because Hanks exudes a steady paternalism in most of his films. He played a father surrogate in News of the World, and Woody from Toy Story is one of the all-time great non-dad dads in cinema. Even in something as morally soupy as Road to Perdition, you could chop Hanks’s character in half and see the words “Great Dad” running through him like a stick of rock.
But really? You want Tom Hanks to play your dad in a film? Your actual dad? You want to make the movie of your life, and go to the enormous expense of hiring Tom Hanks, only to give him a part that consists solely of him picking up the phone to you, grunting a short hello and immediately passing the receiver to your mum? That seems like quite a weird waste of resources.
Maybe the respondents misunderstood the question. Because I don’t want Tom Hanks to play my dad in a film. But do I want Tom Hanks to be my dad. I mean it. I want Tom Hanks to legally become my parent. I want him to invite me to live in his house, and take me to the baseball game, and give me chummy little pep talks whenever I’m feeling down, and whisper “Don’t tell your mother” with a wink as he hands me a square of chocolate an hour before dinnertime, and let me ride around the garden on his back like a horse. I haven’t asked around, but I suspect we all want this. We all want exactly this. Plus, you know, Tom Hanks’s actual son seems to spend his life doing little more than talking in an offensive cod-Jamaican accent on Instagram, so Tom’s probably quite a soft touch too.
Meanwhile, the survey’s second-favourite dad choice was Anthony Hopkins. Is this because he just made a film called The Father and people are lazy? Probably. But, still, he’d be a great real-life dad too. True, Hopkins has an estranged adult daughter. But have you seen his Instagram? It’s just him playing piano and pulling funny faces. What a fun dad he’d be.
Third on the list is Robin Williams, but the really exciting fake dad is at number four. Harrison Ford. Stop right there. Game over. If any A-list Hollywood actor is going to adopt me as his son, I definitely want it to be Harrison Ford. Imagine how fantastic it would be. “Can we go on a plane trip together, pa?” you’d ask. “No, I’m busy,” he’d grunt without even looking up. “What about a game of catch in the yard?” you’d ask. “Didn’t you hear me? I said I’m busy!” he’d grunt. “But you’re just sitting there doing nothing,” you’d say. “What’s wrong with you? Are you broken in the head? I regret the day you were ever born,” he’d bark, before getting up and locking himself in the shed for the rest of the day. To have Harrison Ford as a dad would be to forever try and fail to win his approval, and surely that’s all that anyone really wants from a father.